The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission released a statement on Friday claiming the St. Louis Rams' decision to enter into a three-year deal to play one regular season NFL game in London each year violated the terms of the lease agreement between the CVC and the Rams:
The commission acknowledged that the Rams playing overseas would "elevate an awareness of St. Louis on the global stage." But it added, "Our lease with the Rams requires that the Rams play all their home games in the Edward Jones Dome."
As pointed out by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier this month, the team's stadium lease with the city's Convention and Visitors Commission on the Edward Jones Dome contains a provision that would allow the Rams to leave if it is not deemed a "first-tier" facility among the top eight stadiums in the NFL.
This upcoming Wednesday (February 1, 2012) is the deadline for the CVC to submit their proposal for upgrading the Edward Jones Dome to put in line with their interpretation of it being a "top tier" facility. The Rams then have until May 1 to submit their counter-proposal. The key issue is how the sides define a "top tier" facility. If there is a material disagreement in the interpretation of the term, the parties can enter arbitration to determine what constitutes "top tier" and which proposal might control the upgrade process.
In the meantime, the St. Louis Rams have issued a statement in response to the CVC's claims that the London deal violated the terms of their lease:
We think that playing in London is great for the Rams and great for St. Louis. We are in talks with the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, which is also the region's chief marketing group, about how to make the most of this opportunity. As the CVC said today, this will ‘elevate an awareness of St. Louis on the global stage.' We look forward to having amicable and meaningful dialogue with the CVC on many issues and believe those conversations should remain between the parties.
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